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Emmanuel Sanders breaks out with 3 TDs as Broncos dump Chargers

Associated Press
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DENVER — Emmanuel Sanders waited six long weeks to join the list of players who have caught a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning. Now, he has four in less than a week.

Manning and Sanders connected for a trio of touchdowns Thursday night in the Denver Broncos‘ 35-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

With the Chargers’ banged-up secondary double-teaming red-hot receiver Demaryius Thomas, Sanders caught TD throws of 2, 31 and 3 yards. The last one followed Chris Harris Jr.’s interception of a flustered Philip Rivers.

“Every week we don’t know where the ball is going to go,” Sanders said. “The defense really dictates that and what Peyton is seeing. And tonight was just my night.”

Rookie running back Juwan Thompson added two TD runs as the Broncos (6-1) tightened their grip on the AFC West over the Chargers (5-3), who lost their second straight game.

Manning finished 25 of 35 for 286 yards. Sanders caught nine passes for 120 yards, and Ronnie Hillman added 109 yards on 20 carries.

Sanders’ speed, combined with Hillman’s second gear, is the juice GM John Elway had in mind when he said the Broncos could be better this year than they were last season, when they became the first team in NFL history to top 600 points in a season.

“John Elway and his staff went out and wanted to increase our team speed in all phases of the game and I think we’ve done that,” coach John Fox said.

One of Elway’s prized free agent acquisitions last offseason, Sanders called this “wide receivers’ heaven” when he joined the Broncos in the spring. He spent his first five games in a …read more